Consider a New Bi-Phasic, HIV-Related Funding Opportunity

Funding News Edition: May 05, 2021
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Investigators, we have two questions for you:

  1. Can you contribute to the understanding of post-transcriptional regulation of intact and defective HIV RNA?
  2. Are you able to develop therapeutic strategies to alter RNA post-transcriptional modifications as a potential therapeutic platform for inhibiting HIV replication?

If your answer is “yes” to both questions, you may be interested in applying to the new funding opportunity announcement (FOA) Understanding Post-Transcriptional Regulation of Intact and Defective HIV RNA (R61/R33, Clinical Trial Not Allowed).

Responsive and Nonresponsive Areas of Research

Be aware that research will be limited to studies using cells isolated from people living with HIV (PLWH) who are on antiretroviral therapy (ART).

The following are some examples of studies that are responsive to the FOA, which may help you determine whether your proposed research would be suitable. 

  • Defining the HIV RNA transcript landscape in different cellular subpopulations harboring intact and defective provirus in the context of ART
  • Characterizing HIV RNA covalent epitranscriptional modifications and identifying key pathways and enzymes involved
  • Determining the effects of HIV RNA modifications on viral protein expression, antigen presentation, and antiviral innate immune responses within subpopulations of persistently infected cells
  • Identifying potential drug targets that would inform future cure strategies by modulating HIV RNA modifications in persistently infected cells

Do not propose the following nonresponsive topics. If you do, your application will not be reviewed.

  • Identifying chemical modifications on HIV DNA
  • Studies focused on the role of cellular RNA on HIV replication
  • Therapeutic targeting of cellular RNA
  • Studies that do not propose the use of cells isolated from PLWH who are on ART

About the Activity Code

This R61/R33 bi-phasic, innovation award will fund exploratory and developmental research. Support will be provided for up to three years (R61 phase) for hypothesis and milestone(s)-driven research that is basic in scope.

Proposed studies will focus on identifying epitranscriptomic RNA modifications found on HIV RNA, understanding how these modifications impact viral replication as well as proteins that are involved in their processing (e.g., writers, erasers, and readers).

Before the R61 phase ends, awardees will submit the R33 transition package, which NIH program staff will review. Up to two years of support may follow (R33 phase) for studies focused on developing strategies to inhibit or alter HIV epitranscriptomic RNA modifications identified in the R61 phase. Proposed milestones will be reviewed and negotiated before award. For additional details, see the FOA, and to learn more about the R61/R33 activity code and others like it, go to our Phased Award SOP.

Award Information, Deadlines, Contact

NIAID intends to fund four or five awards in fiscal year 2022.

Application budgets are not limited but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.

The total project period cannot exceed five years. Applicants may request up to three years of support for the R61 phase and up to two years of support for the R33 phase.

The application due date is August 4, 2021.

If you have questions, direct them to Dr. Gerard M. Lacourciere, the FOA’s scientific/research contact, or Dr. Poonam Pegu, the FOA's peer review contact.

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